Who owns my terrace?

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TERRACE OWNERSHIP: It is indeed confusing. Photo: Shutterstock


QUESTION:

I refer to David Searl’s article in January. I agree with the roof of a building being a ‘communal element’ but I can’t understand why ‘no unit actually owns its terrace’. The title deeds to my apartment state that the area of my terrace is included in the total area of the property. I pay Community Fees at a lower rate than my neighbour who has exactly the same sized apartment but with a bigger terrace. I have David Searl’s book but I cannot see where in the LHP it says that everything outside of the apartment wall is communal.

D.H. (by e-mail)

ANSWER:

Well observed. And it is indeed confusing. Article 396 of the Spanish Civil Code establishes the Law of Horizontal Property and it also establishes that communal property includes the “Building façade, with the exterior fittings of terraces,balconies and windows…” Your property title separates the terrace from the enclosed area but does not state specifically that you have “exclusive use” and not full title as a private element. This does not appear in the LHP. Your neighbour’s larger terrace can affect the amount of his fees.

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